Thursday, January 12, 2012

Big House Red

BLEND: Petite Syrah, Syrah, Petite Verdot, Carignane, Mourvedre, Barbera, Zinfandel, Tannat, Sangiovese, Malbec, and Grenache.

So I do believe I've gotten away from the whole point of this blog. To recommend "budget" wines for those with less who still want to enjoy the finer things in life. Let me make amends tonight.

I noticed a friend MONTHS ago had several Black Box Merlot and Shiraz and other Blackstone boxed wines on her counter. When I asked her how she liked them, she said she loved them. She was expecting over (20) family members for a family party and she said it was the most cost-effective way to go without sacrificing a lot of flavor. I barely made a mental note of it because, a boxed wine was still "a boxed wine".

If we are going to talk about having on hand an everday wine for one to enjoy after a hard day's work, then we need to seriously consider the boxed wines that are out there. This is the first one I am reviewing tonight. I hope to do a series of boxed wine reviews in the coming months.

Another friend, who happens to enjoy some of the more expensive and finer wines, loves Big House for her every day on-hand wine (though she buys it in a bottle). I have listened to her mention it numerous times over the last year. I was in the package store the other day, looking for something new to try, and saw a whole "boxed" section. I went right to the Big House. She happens to really like the Big House White, but I thought I'd try the red. I know she likes the red almost as much as the white, but she tends to drink more white than red - hence her preference.

I brought it home and poured a glass. It was very fruity, tasted medium-bodied, and had a slight vanilla cherry finish. I was rather impressed. I mean, I just brought home basically 4 bottles of wine for $21 including tax and I actually enjoyed my glass. I baked a Berkshire pork loin roast with garlic and baked some organic sweet potatoes. The wine was delicious with the meal. Both, I felt, enhanced the other. Tonight, I had another glass after work while cooking dinner and finished my glass with my dinner: baked salmon with lemon and fresh ginger, risotto, and organic mixed peas, carrots, green beans and corn. Another delicious match. Could this be too good to be true? Not so far.

Just so you understand, I am not touting this as a velvety, rich, full-bodied gem. But as an every day, ENJOYABLE, glass of wine for casual meals or alone, this is it. It also tasted good with a handful of white cheddar Cheez-its by the way. Now, I will tell you, when I purchased this box I found myself looking over my shoulder and making sure the parking lot was clear before making a run to my car. I was actually self-conscious that I'd run in to someone I know who might laugh that I was the owner of a box of wine. Also, I must tell you, the Guy was not as enthusiastic about my purchase. He said it tasted: "grapey". BUT - he then added: "with a finish (surprisingly)". I politely disagree with him. It is more berry than grapey to me, and it does have a pleasant low-key finish. It is not thin, it is not metallic, it is not watery. It's got something. Something that is way worth the price and amount.

So, I texted my friend today that I bought her Big House and enjoyed it. I also mentioned that I bought a box of it. Her response? You had such a bad day that you bought a boxed wine???? It completely didn't matter to her that I bought her favorite stand by. She only paid attention to the "box" part. My first reaction to her response? "It's the same wine you dingleberry." No matter what, it seems to be the initial response to hearing the wine is in a "box". Well, guess what? It's 4 bottles for less than the price of 1. Oh, and it's vacuum sealed so it stays fresh. Oh, and it will keep for 4 to 6 weeks. Oh, if it actually lasts that long before I drink it.

8.0 out of 10
13.5% alc. by vol.
Such a DEAL!!!! $19.99 / 3 L ***** That's (4) bottles for under $5 each

1 comment:

The guy said...

I wanted to chime in on the Big House Box set that The Gal is reviewing here on the blog. I have to say, it took me a bit off guard as it came in a box, not a bottle. Yes, I'm one of those people who think all decent wines come in a bottle, so to review this wine, I need to cross that mental hurdle.

I was surprised at the finish of the Big House. It was warm, even, pleasant. Not bad at all. Of course, as I was tasting it blind (without knowledge of what packaging it arrived in), my immediate reaction was that the wine was one of the ones from the lower end of the spectrum. a common, drinking wine.

But, the initial uncertainty of the first mouthful of fruit (grapes in my case), was calmed with the first swallow. The wine warmed my throat and belly, something I'm very much a fan of. There was no bitter aftertaste, no chalky resin, or chewy finish as some low end Australian (bottle) wines have.

This is a wine that needs to go with food, in my opinion. It took on a more pleasing overall demeanor with the various mouthfuls of cheese, crackers or pork loin.

Not sure I'd give it an 8, but it is significantly more impressive than many other wines from the low end of the budget. twice the price.

If you're looking for a decent wine for a large crowd and don't want to go broke trying to make sure everyone has enough to satiate their pallets, then this is a good option. If you're not a Boxed wine fan, then there's always Two Buck Chuck.